Review: Tangerines at Alphabetti Theatre

Tangerines, the new play by Lydia Brickland, explores queerness through the fictional future of the royal family.

8th August 2023
Image Credit: Jennifer Kehl
As part of the Newcastle Fringe Festival this July, Lydia Brickland’s Tangerines was performed at the Alphabetti Theatre, after a sell-out run at The King’s Head Theatre in London. Tangerines explores relationships with queerness through fictional royal Charlotte and her love interest, Kae.

The performance follows newly-single Kae (Hannah Mullaney) as she prepares for a dance competition as part of Durham University’s dance society. Her new dance partner, Charlotte (Romana Meyrat), turns out to be more than just a first year. As a princess, her whole life has been in the spotlight, and this competition is no different. Alongside the two leads, we explore love in the limelight - and so much more about queer identity in the process.

Alphabetti’s intimate theatre space lends well to the experiences of the characters, as the play explores lots of personal moments between them that really connects the audience well with their thoughts. One particularly enjoyable part (without giving too much away) features Charlotte bringing her partner a pre-rehearsal banana, a small and thoughtful gesture that leads to so much more. 

Image Credit: Jennifer Kehl

Brickland explores identity beautifully within the play, examining the struggles of coming to terms with different facets of our personality and how feeling under constant scrutiny can affect some of our judgements. The play exudes warmth and comedy, and although short, holds your attention throughout with punchy lines and witty repartee. 
Although Tangerines finished its run at the Alphabetti Theatre on the 29th July, if it were to ever return, definitely consider going to see it! In the meantime, Gateshead writer Lydia Brickland is definitely someone to keep an eye out for.

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